Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My male Mayflower ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Surname Saturday: Ralph Smith of early Plymouth Colony

Is there a more common surname than Smith? Much of my information on my Smith ancestors is a bit iffy, because even in 17th century Plymouth Colony it was hard to discern one Smith from another!

My 8th great-grandfather, Ralph Smith/Smyth, was likely born in Hingham, Norfolkshire, England circa 1610.  He may have come on the ship Lincoln or the ship Elizabeth Bonaventure in 1633. He is listed in the 1848 NEHGR article as one of the First Settlers of Hingham, Massachusetts, settling there in 1637. During that year, he drew a house lot there on Bachelor Street, now Main Street. Many of the early Hingham settlers were from Old Hingham.
Hingham Norfolk, UK (source: Hingham History Centre)

Ralph Smith removed to Eastham. He is listed in the 1852 NEHGR article on the First Settlers of Eastham, on what is now Cape Cod, May 22 1655. In 1657 he took the Oath of Fidelity at Eastham.

Ralph’s first wife is often seen as Martha or Rebecca Hobart, although I have not found any proof of her identity.

Ralph’s children with his first wife:
1.      Samuel who was baptized Hingham 11 July 1641; married Mary Hopkins, granddaughter of Mayflower Passenger Stephen Hopkins
2.      John baptized Hingham 23 July 1644; married HannahWilliams
3.      Daniel baptized Hingham 2 March 1646/47; married Mary Young
4.      Possibly Elizabeth born about Sept 1648; married Jabez Snow, grandson of Stephen Hopkins, and William Merrick (James Hawes places her as daughter of Ralph; Susan Roser states her maiden name may be Smith)
5.      Possibly Thomas born about 1650, married Mary _____
6.      Deborah born Eastham 8 March 1653/54; married John Hurd

I descend through Ralph's son Daniel and then through Daniel's daughter Content Smith who married Thomas Howes.

Ralph was constable at Eastham in 1660. On 7 May 1661, he was fined 20 shillings for "lying in and about the neglect of his duty, about a warrant directed to him, and concerning the seeing or not seeing a whale, and other misorderly carriages tending to disturbance in the town."

On 3 Mar 1662/3 "Ralph Smith, of Eastham, for breaking the peace in striking of William Walker, is fined 3s. 4d. He was trading with Josias Hubbert of Hingham in 1664. In May 1665, "Ralph Smith, of Eastham, was fined, for telling of a lie, 10s."

Ralph’s first wife died before 1660 and he married second Grace _____.

Ralph died at Eastham before 27 October 1685, when administration of his estate was granted to his widow Grace and his son Samuel, both of Eastham. His Inventory included "1 Bible & Psalm Book."
He is buried at Cove Burying Ground, where his descendents erected a monument in his honor in 1946.

JUNE 1946

Resources not listed above:
James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, 1860
John Austin, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Stephen Hopkins, 1992
Susan Roser, Mayflower Increasings, 1995
James W. Hawes, Nicholas 1 Snow of Eastham and Some of His Descendants, Library of Cape Cod History & Genealogy, 1916
Leonard Smith, Early Settlers of Eastham, Library of Cape Cod History & Genealogy, 1916
Thomas Smith, The Family of Ralph Smyth of Hingham, Mass., NEHGR, 1874

If anyone has resources on Ralph Smith I have not included, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. My family is by his son Thomas smith,do you know something on his family.

  2. Samuel was my great x9 grandfather

  3. I am having a book published about Grace which is in the final editing stage. I cannot really do anything until the copy write is completed. I have loads of the same ancestors and love your site. I also like the face you do not present ideas by rote. I think you will like what I have found so I shall be in touch. My beginning website is capecod1712.com so you will find some things there...... Daniel turns out to be a hero.

    1. Hi cousin. I'm from most of Ralph's other children through Archelaus Smith and his wife Liz Nickerson (first British settlers of Nova Scotia and have much more info. 401 769-9194 Phillip Cole

    2. hi was your book about Grace completed?

    3. hi was your book about Grace completed?

  4. My line is with his son Samuel who married Mary Hopkins. My Grandmother was from Smithville N.S and this would be her line. I'd love to know if their is a book

    1. Hi, I am one of the last Smiths of Smithville N S. Who was your grandmother ?. I am Fraklin Smith.

    2. From Smith's Cove N.S. named after Joseph Smith UEL Ridgefield CT. Any info on John Speculation Smith,line to Abel Smith Hempstead LI

  5. Actually I am Franklin Smith, and I built the Ralph Smith Association website at www.smyth1633.org. You mention that Ralph came over on the ship Lincoln which I have seen no reference to.

    1. Franklin, I wrote he may have come over on the ship because I don't have a source for it. Thanks for posting the link to your site, Chris

  6. I am putting together a family tree for my son. His maternal grandmother indicated there are roots back to the Mayflower, although I cannot connect the dots. Here is what I do know. It goes back to Ralph Smith in Hingham, MA who by records did not come across on the Mayflower. The 7th generation is Platt Hiram Smith of Fayetteville, New York. He married a Katherine Snell in 1862. Her father, Levi Snell married Lucinda Crouse in 1835. This is all documented in the book "Jesse Smith His Ancestors and Descendants". The Crouse family then traces all the way to my mother-in-law. My question for you: In your blog you talk about your Mayflower ancestors, two of which have been approved. Can you tell me their names as I cannot really tell which ones you are talking about in your blog. BTW this is the first time I've responded on a blog--a little bit of a dinosaur. If you can help me it would be appreciated.

    Scott Davis

    1. Hi Scott:
      It must be a bit frustrating to be told about the Mayflower connection without knowing the passenger's name. My Mayflower ancestors (male) are:Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland. Chris

  7. Hi Folks:
    I come across the name of John Speculation Smith.
    Is this man Ralph's father?
    Ken F.

    1. Yes. He was born around 1585 in Hingham England. He married Grace Winston(b. 1581) and died in Hingham Mass in 1640. Ralph was one of his sons. There is data available tracing this Smith (Smythe) line back to 1010.

    2. My late husband was descended from Ralph Smythe/Smith. I would really like to trace his roots back to 1010 - I believe there might be two Ralph Smiths who came to Mass about the same time. One of them a servant, the other a person with a family coat of arms. Sylvia Baago

  8. Ralph Smith is my 10th Great-Grandfather. Would anyone like to contact me to compare family trees?

    1. I also descend from RS. My geneology from Stephen Hopkins up to present day via Archeleus Smith of Cape Sable Island was done anf proofed by Jane Bramwell, one of the researchers of the Great Migration study. It is on file at NEGeneological Society and was approved by them under the National Society of Colonial Dames No. A4661/ 534 with maiden name of Diana Louise McCarthy.


I'm now moderating comments on this blog. My apologies for any ensuing delays, but the large number of "spam" comments have made this necessary. ~Chris